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Matt Riley

Danielle Collins is having a tremendous year.

After defeating top-ranked players such as Venus Williams, CoCo Vandeweghe and Madison Keys in major tournaments, as well as winning the biggest title of her career at the WTA 125K in January, Collins (Col ’16) achieved her highest-ever ranking in March: 45th in the world.

It’s the highest singles ranking of any former UVA player.

“When I started at UVA, we didn’t have nearly the success that the men did,” Collins says.

“I’d go to Chipotle after a match and I’d be in my tennis outfit, and someone would say to me, ‘You know, the men’s team is really good! They’ve won a national championship!’

“So it feels pretty nice to be the highest-ranked alum, male or female.”

Collins had plenty to boast about during her time in Charlottesville. Despite a wrist injury, she won the NCAA singles title in 2014 and helped her team win the ACC regular season and conference tournament titles. She underwent surgery that June and earned a wildcard entry into the U.S. Open two months later, where she took Simona Halep—then ranked No. 2 in the world—to three sets before losing.

In her last year at UVA, Collins reclaimed the national championship singles title, becoming the seventh woman in NCAA history to win two national championship titles.